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Australians organise mission of mercy to supply COVID-19 gear to Italy
A group of Australian businessmen have pulled off mission impossible to fly a cargo plane full of desperately needed medical supplies to the frontline of Italy’s fight against COVID-19.
The team from Perth-based global problem solving group Big Start scoured its vast network of connections to source an abundant supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including in-demand KN95 model facemasks.
In a time when most air traffic is grounded and factories are at a standstill, Big Start struck deals to get supply chains moving, chartering trucks and cargo planes to move the equipment for its Italian job.
Big Start’s chief executive officer, Jack Quigley, said the planes would drop off some equipment to his home city of Perth, Western Australia, on Saturday before heading straight to Italy with bulk PPE supplies on board.
“Big Start’s shipment of badly needed medical supplies is due to land in Italy on Sunday the 5th of April, Palm Sunday, which is a very significant day of hope for many Italians and indeed people all around the world,” he said.
“We tackle complex tasks like this in our regular business, so we saw the opportunity to put our skills to the test, coming through with the goods where they are needed most.”
Italy has been hit hard by COVID-19 with more than 100,000 people infected and over 13,000 deaths. The nation requires more than 90 million facemasks a month but is facing dire shortages.
Also included in Big Start’s shipment are supplies of Type II Surgical facemasks, respirators, isolation gowns, boot covers, disposable plastic coveralls and face shields – everything frontline medical workers in Italy need to protect them from COVID-19.
To ensure a steady future supply of equipment, Big Start has also fired up a number of factories in Asia, creating a production line of PPE gear with plans to ramp up outputs even further.
Mr Quigley said his company’s mission is to bring vital equipment to those most in need in a way that is fair to all.
“Big Start’s vision is to create a connected world and what’s happening with COVID-19 in Italy is heartbreaking to us in Australia,” he said.
“This is an extraordinary time in the world and we all have our part to play. Bringing access to PPE gear that’s become so scarce is what we at Big Start can do, and we are determined to overcome every obstacle to make sure it arrives quickly.”
About Big Start Health
Big Start is a Perth-based problem solver with many years of experience navigating complex international markets. Leveraging its sector knowledge and global supply base and contacts, Big Start is committed to sourcing and moving supplies to where they are most needed while creating a prosperous and connected world.